The Baltimore Ravens’ schedule for the 2014 season was released Wednesday, and it is time to announce the 16-0 prediction for the birds.
But in all seriousness, the Ravens will start off the season against the Cincinnati Bengals at home, but will not end the season against the Bengals as has been a trend lately.
A few quick notes on the season are:
This season the Ravens will play the NFC South.
The Ravens have three prime-time games, one Thursday night game, one Monday night game, and one Sunday night game. Two of those three games are against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Thursday night game comes in week two against the Steelers, which starts the Ravens off on a tiring week playing two games with only three days of rest.
The Ravens do receive an extended break before going to the Cleveland Browns in week three.
The Ravens bye-week comes in week 10, which also surprisingly gives the Ravens an even split between home and away games in the first part of the season.
After the bye-week, the Ravens play at New Orleans on Monday night, which should provide the Ravens with a challenge.
Here is the entire schedule. The key games have an asterisk next to them and 2013 record in parenthesis.
Week 1: Bengals (11-5)
Week 2: Steelers – Thursday Night* (8-8)
Week 3: At Browns (4-12)
Week 4: North Carolina Panthers* (12-4)
Week 5: At that professional team from Indianapolis (11-5)
Week 6: At Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
Week 7: Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
Week 8: At Bengals*
Week 9: At Steelers – Sunday Night*
Week 10: Tennessee Titans (7-9)
Week 11: Bye
Week 12: At Saints – Monday Night* (11-5)
Week 13: San Diego Chargers (9-7)
Week 14: At Miami Dolphins (8-8)
Week 15: Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
Week 16: At Houston Texans (2-14)
Week 17: Browns
The Ravens will face five playoff teams from last season, which includes two games against the Bengals.
The Ravens’ opponents have a combined .461 winning percentage, which gives the Ravens the fifth easiest schedule.
Five games will be played against teams with worse than 10 losses last season. Seven total games will be played against teams with below .500 winning percentage.
Only six games will be played against teams that had a winning record in 2013.
The games against the playoff teams are key games for the Ravens to do well in. Especially against the Bengals, who are in the AFC North.
The two games against the Steelers are important because of the rivalry. With such an easy overall schedule, the division games will be more important.
I am predicting the Ravens will overcome both the Bengals and Steelers at home, but not forgetting the rivalry and the Bengals as a good team, the Ravens will drop the road games.
With a sweep of the Browns, the Ravens will finish with a 4-2 division record.
In the non-conference games, the Ravens will easily overpower the weaker Buccaneers and Falcons. I believe the Ravens will be able to beat the Saints and Panthers with the new offense, but the defense needs to step up, so I believe the Panther’s offense will beat the Ravens.
The Ravens are dominant after bye-weeks, so I believe the Saints will be beaten. The Ravens will finish with a non-conference record of 3-1.
The Chargers’ game will be more difficult, but I believe the Ravens can successfully pull off the 6-0 record against the remaining teams on the schedule.
So yes, you heard it first from me, at this time, I could see the Ravens taking advantage of the easier schedule and finishing the season with a 13-3 record.
This is subject to change once I have a better grasp of the offense, and can see the defense becoming something more than it was last season.
I am assuming the defense improves, but if it does not, strong offensive teams will give the Ravens a lot of trouble.
As of right now, I will stand by my 13-3 record prediction. The Ravens need a strong comeback from last season.